Betty the Foster Dog

Betty

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then surely you’ve seen Betty, our first ever foster dog. She is a sweet, older pit mix who will dance if you ask her if she wants to go on a w-a-l-k (I can’t say it out loud unless we’re really going so we’ve started spelling it in conversation)  and sleep for hours by your side. If you’re looking for the companion of all companions, Betty’s your gal. She’s well trained, and kind to everyone she meets.

Betty is house trained, sits and stays on command, is easy to bathe, and won’t chew anything but food. If you have any questions about her behavior, just ask!

We think Betty is sweet, and the perfect dog for a student or older person – someone who might not have the time to exercise a younger dog but needs some love!

She will be at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market in her little vest on Saturday mornings until she gets adopted, so come meet her there or send me a note to arrange a meet and greet with her. You can also contact Fayetteville Animal Services with any questions about their adoption process.

Quick Guide to Eating Gluten Free in Fayetteville

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A friend recently asked where she could take a gluten free friend out to eat and have more options than a salad. I realized that I have learned a lot through trial and error that I should probably share with the world! I stick to a pretty strict gluten free diet, but I do not have Celiac disease – so many of these restaurants may not be suitable for someone who needs gluten free foods cooked in a dedicated gluten free environment. You decide what works for you, and here’s a list to get you started!

  1. Deluxe Burger has gluten free buns for their burgers. They’ll charge you a bit more for the substitute, but it’s so worth it to be able to go out and eat a delicious burger with the bun (like a “normal” person). General gluten free burger eating tips: If you are elsewhere and want a burger, it’s usually pretty easy to order one without a bun. They’ll usually serve it on a piece of lettuce or two and you can munch away with fork and knife. The greasier/cheaper the place, the harder it is to extricate the burger from the bun – so beware.
  2. The Arsaga’s on Church & Center that serves toast has a house made gluten free bread that’s phenomenal and can be subbed in on any of their amazing toast options for just .50 more!
  3. Arsaga’s at the Depot has a gluten free crepe that you can sub in to wrap up any of their delicious options (even their sweet crepe offerings). It’s their buckwheat crepe, which despite it’s name is actually wheat and gluten free.
  4. Eureka Pizza actually makes my favorite gluten free pizza. Their crust has honey in it to act as a binder and it’s just perfect. Plus, it’s pretty cheap – as far as a gluten free pizza goes!
  5. Woodstone Craft Pizza has a gluten free crust as well, and is a good option if you’re looking for something a little more upscale and unique. The crust is usually both rubbery and burned at the same time – but the toppings are so good that it’s worth trying anyway.
  6. Apple Blossom Brewing Co. has two excellent naturally gluten free options: cheese fries (of a few varieties) and a polenta dish with roasted vegetables.
  7. Khana Indian Grill‘s basmati plates are naturally gluten free. I have tried each one and love them all. The dish is served with naan, so you might ask to leave that out – or give it to someone else at your table (I might have tasted it once and discovered that it’s really, really good).
  8. Hammontree’s sometimes has gluten free bread available to sub in on any of their sandwiches. It isn’t on the menu, just ask.

I want to know what you know about eating gluten free in Fayetteville. I’m not eating out this month, but I’ll take all of your suggestions and seek them out in September!

#weboughtahouse and #committed to #teamfayetteville

If you already follow me on the insta, then you know that my boyfriend and I bought a house this month. We’ve been busy making all of the little changes that turn the house into home, and recovering from the stress that is housebuying turned homeownership. We’re super pleased not to be renters any more, and mostly, it’s been super fun.

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Part of what’s so exciting about buying a house is the commitment. And I’m not just talking about the big deal that is buying a house with my boyfriend. I’m talking about committing to my community. I’m on #teamfayetteville in a whole new super hardcore way. I bought a little piece of the city that I’ve called home for all these years. We’re committing to living here, and caring about what happens here, and I think that’s super cool and super important. Don’t you?

What team are you on? Do you own your home? Did you feel like you were marrying your city when you bought a chunk of it like I did? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Fayetteville Little Free Library Bike Tour – Recap

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In case you missed it, here’s some pictures and a few notes from our Fayetteville Little Free Library Bike Tour! We had so much fun toting the books all in our little bike trailer!

 

Talya’s Little Free Library (Washington St.)

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Talya is a member of a blogger group that meets in my area. She also just published her first novel. Her library is especially neat because it has a seed exchange drawer in it! (There also might be a geocache hidden in/around it!) It’s multipurpose and super cute. We just had to stop by this one first!

 

Alison’s Little Free Library (Sutton St.)

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I met Alison working at the Fayetteville Public Library where she is a super page extraordinaire. She also has a super cute library in her own front yard that just had to be on our list.

 

Arsaga’s Depot Little Free Library (Frisco Trail)

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This library has been the drop off point for all of my donations prior to this tour and is something I peek at from my bike on my commute to work and back. It’s sponsored by Adventure Subaru, which is why it’s made out of car bits.

 

Little Free Library by the Library (Frisco Trail)

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We weren’t able to find this library! Someone more enlightened about it’s location, help me out. Where exactly is it?

 

Pequeña Biblioteca (S. School Ave.)

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I stumbled on this beautiful Little Free Library one afternoon when this tour was just a little idea I was having and knew it had to be on the tour. It was designed and built by Matthew Turner and Esteban Ayala in association with Harrison French & Associates, and is sponsored by Dick and Margaret Rutherford. Despite it’s name, it actually had TONS of room in it, so we dropped off the biggest chunk of our books in it.

 

Plot Twist (Walker Park Trail)

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Books Rock (Lake Fayetteville Trail)
The unique structure at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks was designed and built by Stuart Fulbright and is sponsored by Northside Rotary Club and Downtown Fayetteville Rotary Club. Unfortunately, we cut that stop from the ride because our trailer hitch hadn’t come in time and the trailer was sort of jimmied on the bike.

Thanks all for cheering this project along on the blog, facebook, twitter, and instagram. It was a blast (a sweaty, exhausting blast).

Little Free Library Delivery: Visioning

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Since I ride my bicycle by the Little Free Library in front of Arsaga’s at the Depot several times a week on my way to and from work, it’s easy for me to keep up with the little library’s stock. It’s clear plexiglass front door means I don’t even have to stop to check out whether there’s room to drop off some books or not. Luckily, this collection doesn’t need much space though, as it’s just three books. If you happen to want any of these three books, just follow me on twitter and look for a tweet that says, “The drop has been made.” Then you can roll on over to the little library and pick them up!

This trio includes:

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  • Coloring Your Prayers: An Inspirational Coloring Book for Making Dreams Come True is a partially colored copy of a fun book that’s part coloring book part spiritual workbook.

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  • The Seed Handbook: The Feminine Way to Create Business is an inspirational guide for ladies who want to start a business.

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  • Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams is a super thorough guide to creating a vision board that will make all of your dreams come true, maybe.

In case you’re just stumbling upon this and you’re wondering why I’ve got a little stack of books on my blog, check out my intro to this series. And in case you’re super in the know, I’m still doing my Fayetteville Little Free Library Bike Tour with the rest of my books. I just had this one last carefully curated collection to share.

#NWARKcares about the Environment

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Photo By: Paige Ray

Do you think about your personal impact on the environment? It’s something I think about almost every day. I was a kid in the 90’s, which means that I grew up in the era of the invention of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and had a childhood centered around being highly conscious of our environment. Between that and parents who made sure I had a broad world view – beyond myself, and beyond convenience – I can get pretty hippy-dippy about environmental stuff. So, if it’s not your thing to eat kale chips or whatever, bear with me. I’m going to give you six really easy things that I do to help the environment that you can do too.

  1. Choose my bike over my car when possible. Luckily, Northwest Arkansas is a really bicycle friendly region. We have extensive trail systems, lots of “share” lanes, and a community that supports cycling. You don’t need me to tell you about the negative environmental impacts of driving your car.
    Your challenge: bike (or walk) somewhere you normally drive. Just try it once, you’ll feel amazing! Let me know how it goes!
  2. Recycle! I live in Fayetteville and have two of the small recycling bins the city provides, so I’m really lucky to be able to stick my recyclables on the curb each week. We also have a set of blue bins in our kitchen and a bin in our bathroom for recycling. I’ve found that if there’s a place (or three) in the house for recycling to go, it doesn’t stray into the trash can. Lots of folks have to go the extra mile and tote their recycling to the nearest drop-off center. Fayetteville has plenty of these scattered around though – so no excuses!
    Your challenge: set up a recycling bin in your home. Already have one? Add another!
  3. Compost! I have a little bin for compost in my kitchen that sits by the sink. Having the bin in sight is important, especially if you’re just starting to compost, because it’s a reminder to put things in the bin (and also to empty it!) Lately I’ve been branching out our composting into more paper goods. I even put a compost bin in our bathroom for tissues, cotton balls, and q-tips. We have a big metal trash can with holes drilled in all sides in our backyard for the compost to go when it leaves the house.
    Your challenge: compost something! No excuses. Figure out where you can start or contribute to a compost pile or bin and put something in it! (When I lived in an apartment I worked with my church to set up a compost bin in their garden and brought my bucket of scraps to the pile weekly.)
  4. Donate what I don’t use. This goes for all things, but when I think about it I usually think most about clothes. We don’t have textile recycling in Fayetteville, so a lot of times a stained t-shirt is a big bulk of our trash for the week. If things are still usable though, it’s important to donate them to a thrift store where they can await their next home! I have a bag in my home office that is marked “give away”. And that bag is always there. That way, as I’m trying something on – if I’m not into it – it has a place. It’s not like, oh I should donate this one day when I go through my closet. I actually never go through my closet in one big day of purging. I just have the bag, and fill it up over the course of a month or so, and take it to the thrift store when it’s full.
    Your Challenge: create an out-box in your home for things to donate. Make it somewhere permanent. Don’t worry about filling it up, just know that it’s there and when you come across that chipped tea cup that’s still too pretty to throw away or a dress that doesn’t fit any more, you’ll know where to put them.
  5. Choose to Buy things with less packaging, or recyclable packaging. This is something I’m working on a lot lately. It’s really challenging to do since our city only recycles plastic numbers 1 and 2. And worse, the plastic containers have to have an opening smaller than their base (aka be bottle shaped). Choosing a recyclable cardboard egg carton over plastic or styrofoam is easy, but buying spinach that’s not in a plastic clam shell container can be hard. This week I’m making a grocery list that is broken up by which store I will buy each thing at, and I’m going to do it with where I can buy things in bulk and bring my own container in mind.
    Your Challenge: Shop consciously. Next time you’re at the store think about the packaging around your food. Make choices that are environmentally friendly when possible. And if you find yogurt in a container that Fayetteville recycles, I will be your best friend.
  6. Share the knowledge. Lately I haven’t been able to shut up about composting toilets. We had a plumbing problem at my house, and I was all – “See! See! If we had a composting toilet, these roots wouldn’t be an issue!” And what I’ve learned is that there are a lot of people who are also super into composting toilets (automatic friend people!) But also, there are people who don’t know a thing about them, or don’t totally get it. I am excited that I get to share and make some normalcy out of environmentalism for those people just by having a chat.
    Your Challenge: Talk to someone about something you do to help the environment or something you wish you could do. Who knows, they might be able to help you do it or do it better!

I want to know, what’s on your list? What things do you do to help the environment? What things do you wish you could do? Let’s figure out how to make them possible! What things do you have questions about? Let’s find the answers! Leave a comment below.

Some Links:

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust – The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust came up at my dinner table last night thanks to a couple of inspiringly environmentalist friends of mine. They kindly explained how the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust works to preserve the natural beauty of the Ozarks. Definitely worth checking out.

Ozark Natural Science Center – A local organization the strives to enhance our understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Ozark natural environment through school programs. Really powerful stuff.

Beaver Watershed Alliance – Northwest Arkansas has one water source: Beaver Lake. We need to keep it clean! Check out the Beaver Watershed Alliance to find out more.

Carbon Footprint Calculator – An eye opening and fun way to discover the things you use every day and their impact on our environment.

What’s this all about?

The Northwest Arkansas Bloggers have launched #NWArkCares to share social issues and raise awareness for local causes. Each month we are focusing on a different issue/cause. To play along, follow the hashtag #NWArkCares on twitter, instagram, and facebook or check us out on Facebook.

April’s #NWARKcares cause was the environment. Through my blogger friends’ posts and conversations this month, I learned a lot about the important factors in preserving the natural beauty of this place, the Ozarks.

Little Free Library Delivery – Spring Garden

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Tomorrow I’ll be dropping off this collection of books at the Little Free Library in front of Arsaga’s at the Depot. If you happen to want any of these three books, just follow me on twitter and look for a tweet that says, “The drop has been made.” Then you can roll on over to the little library and pick them up!

This collection includes:

sunflowerhouses

  • Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages is full of fun activities that utilize things found in nature. A great guide for parents, teachers, children, etc.

wayofherbs

  • The Way of Herbs is a thorough guide for those who are seeking herbal remedies. A good thing to check out as you plan your garden this spring!

3bowls

  • 3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery is full of really interesting recipes

In case you’re local (Northwest Arkansas), and you want any of these books, all you have to do is stop by the Little Free Library at Arsaga’s at the Depot and pick them up!

An extra note: When I first started this project – delivering my mom’s old books to a nearby Little Free Library – I was excited about sharing some great reads with my community in a way that was easily approachable by everyone. I’m still super excited about that, but I’ve also had a really intense time connecting with the books that I didn’t expect to have. These are the books that were in my home throughout my whole childhood. We moved back and forth from California to the Ozarks multiple times toting these treasures! Each one makes up a little piece of who I am. I think most people would feel the urge to keep the books as mementos of their past, but, I think for me it’s been more impactful to touch each book, read bits of it, pair it with other books from the same collection that relate in some way, and then let it go impact someone else. I’ve got dozens more to deliver, so keep following along if you’re interested! You can subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed by clicking the link in my righthand toolbar that says “entries RSS”. See you at the library!

Northwest Arkansas Mall Gift Card Giveaway (Now Closed)

giveaway

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post – today a super incredible awesome amazing rad giveaway begins! One lucky winner will receive a $200 shopping spree to select stores at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. That’s a $75 gift card to Dillard’s, a $50 gift card to Gap, a $10 gift card to Clarie’s, a $40 gift card to Charlotte Russe, and a $25 gift card to Candy Craze! Why these stores? Check out yesterday’s post on my 5 holiday party essentials! The contest begins today, Saturday December 12th 2015, and ends on Wednesday December 16th 2015. You must live in Northwest Arkansas to enter and to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was generously sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

Holiday Party Essentials from the Northwest Arkansas Mall

If you’re entertaining at all this holiday season, or even if you’re just attending various holiday shin-digs, this is the place to be! I recently spent the afternoon at the Northwest Arkansas Mall getting everything I’ll need to be super set for the holiday entertaining season. Here are the 5 things that are going to make my holiday party hosting and attending totally rock this December.

P.S. This post is sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Mall and includes affiliate links. Before you get super upset about how unspecific those links are (they’re to the main brand site, not the specific product), let me tell you why! I want you to go to the mall, just like I did, and buy those things locally. All of that sales tax and energy and community is important! And, in addition, I’m going to be giving one lucky reader the opportunity to do that with a giveaway! You should stay tuned tomorrow, right here on the blog, for that incredible giveaway. And when I say incredible, I mean big and amazing and so super duper!

Holiday Party Essential #1: a little red and green for your tablescape.

I picked up some red (aka: crimson) and green (aka: lemongrass) fiesta ware to serve up gingerbread cookies, sprinkles, and other super important holiday treats. I snagged these perfect pieces at Dillard’s. Click here to check out all of the fiesta ware that Dillard’s offers.

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I already had the lemongrass flatware set, so the crimson flatware, two crimson bowls, and a lemongrass set of dishes was the perfect way to round out my holiday tablescape. This year I’m going to be hosting my “somewhat annual holiday cookie decorating party”, and these pieces will be perfect to dish up cookies, and all of the things that my guests will use to adorn them.

Holiday Party Essential #2: See’s Candies (and it has to be See’s)

See’s Candies are a classic for my family. Actually, we used to get them on the reg. when we lived in San Francisco. Moving here meant leaving them behind, so finding the kiosk at the mall was an extra exciting thing for my parents and I. My dad helped me pick this one out, since he’s the chocolate aficionado of the family. I think I’m going to have to go back for a few more boxes because these are so decadent and make excellent treats at a party, and they are a super great hostess gift too. Shh, don’t tell my boyfriend’s family that they’re all getting See’s when we head their way for the holidays!

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If, like me, you are having a somewhat annual holiday cookie decorating party, then I also highly recommend checking out Candy Craze for unique decorative candies!

Holiday Party Essential #3: A cozy sweater you can dress up or down

I doubled up on this essential with layering in mind. Here in Northwest Arkansas it’s been totally warm during the day but freezing at night, so winter wear has had to stay on hold most days with fall layers holding on through December. Can you believe it? I keep forgetting what month it is because it’s so warm!

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First, (above) a chunky grey knit sweater from Gap. This one can be dressed up (think statement necklace, maxi skirt, fancy hair, and all that) or down (leggings, messy hair, and cookies in hand – that’s more my style obviously).

Second, (below) a wrappy shawl sweater from Charlotte Russe that can go over the above sweater when the sun sets and it gets chilly out.

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Holiday Party Essentials #4: something to cover your booty (with a little give)

After I’ve eaten all of my holiday cookies, I am going to need some pants with a little stretch. That’s why I chose these super comfy and cute pants from Charlotte Russe. They had a buy one get one for $10 deal, so I snagged two. Such goodness with more than one holiday party to go to. I can wear the same sweater and different pants right? Right.

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Holiday Party Essentials #5: last but not least, a little sparkle

I shopped all over the mall for some sparkly and finally landed on this little faux septum ring at Claire’s. Isn’t it the cutest? Aren’t you dying to put sparkly stuff up your nose? I am! Claire’s has all kinds of cute finishing touches to make your outfit look a little more, let’s say – thought about this holiday season.

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Whew, that was a lot of things! Let me know what holiday party essential you’ve been after lately and what you think of mine in the comments! And don’t forget tomorrow’s gigantic giveaway (which will be for Northwest Arkansas residents only – sorry other folks!).

The purchases mentioned in this post were sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Mall and although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Little Free Library Delivery – Words

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Today I’ll be dropping off this collection of books at the Little Free Library in front of Arsaga’s at the Depot. If you happen to want any of these three books, just follow me on twitter and look for a tweet that says, “The drop has been made.” Then you can roll on over to the little library and pick them up!

This collection includes:

bigtalk

  • Big Talk: Poems for Four Voices is a really fun way to get your family to read out loud together. Fun for kids and adults too.

rhymingdictionary

  • The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary is a really fun, kid friendly, dictionary of rhymes for poetic types.

thesaurus

  • Roget’s International Thesaurus is an out of date thesaurus for all of your out of date thesaurus needs – or perhaps the framework for a new upcycled journal project?

In case you’re just stumbling upon this and you’re wondering why I’ve got a little stack of books on my blog, check out my intro to this series. And remember, if you want any of these books, all you have to do is stop by the Little Free Library at Arsaga’s at the Depot and pick them up!